One Piece Odyssey Review – A new world of possibilities
Table of Contents
One Piece Odyssey
ONE PIECE, a fresh new RPG set on the universe of the beloved anime! In this exciting journey set in the ONE PIECE world, you play as members of the Straw Hat Crew!
Price Currency: $
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
Application Category: Game
- Fun and imaginative turn-based combat mechanics.
- Art style and aesthetic are visually appealing.
- The voice acting is just as good as the anime.
- The overall experience feels bolstered thanks to revamped storylines.
- The original story and characters feel underdeveloped.
- Music is a bit boring.
One Piece Odyssey review for PS5
When it comes to anime games like One Piece Odyssey, expectations are rarely sky-high. Most just hope it would do the bare minimum, putting beloved characters in interesting situations and making some fun references to past arcs. They don’t have to be genre-defining experiences or bring a ton of new elements to the table. All they have to do is say goodbye to a broad definition of acceptable and offer a benign extension of a universe that humans have come to know and love.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that the latest One Piece title wasn’t that kind of anime game. Instead, it’s the kind of offering that takes some real risks and tries to do something new with its gameplay, despite falling into some of the same ruts that plague most other anime games story-wise. Not only that, but it’s largely successful in its endeavours, setting a new standard for games to come.
But I’m anticipating. For those unfamiliar with the game’s overall marketing, One Piece Odyssey sees the Straw Hats drawn into a new adventure set between the arcs of the manga. After an encounter with an unknown being, the crew is shipwrecked on a mysterious island inhabited by ancient automatons and otherworldly phenomena. A few strange individuals also call the island home, and one is robbing the Straw Hats of their strength and abilities for being pirates.
This forces them to explore the island so they can regain their lost power and abilities and delve into the memories associated with those aspects of themselves in order to regain control of them. This means literally reliving some of the series’ greatest moments, whether it’s taking on a former warlord in Alabasta or reliving some of the worst challenges they’ve ever faced in Water 7.
Also See: One Piece: World Seeker Review: Is it Worth Playing
This also allows the crew to prepare for an even greater challenge that lurks on the island and could serve to threaten the entire world if they are not ready to defeat it.
It’s a decent setup, but is handled similarly to other anime games, for better and worse. Cliff Notes versions of the series’ more popular arcs are used to fill out the game’s larger storyline and can definitely cause the story to drag out if players are forced to play a story they’ve read dozens of times before have seen.
This is exactly what fans of anime games expect. Which is a shame considering the original story and characters are actually quite interesting. They could have really shined if they had a bit more focus a la One Piece: Worldseeker approach, but they ended up feeling underdeveloped and superficial.
Luckily, One Piece Odyssey manages to shine through its gameplay. Utilizing a turn-based RPG framework, the core elements of the title are simple enough: in addition to exploring the vast world and going from point A to point B in the story, players can also jump into combat with a variety of enemies if they choose are consumed to four members of the Straw Hats. You can then fight these enemies in a turn-based manner, with the Straw Hats and their enemies swapping attacks back and forth until only one side remains.
It’s a pretty basic gameplay premise, but things get infinitely deeper in practice. During the battles, you have to consider a variety of factors in order to come out on top. These include the type of damage each character can dish out, where your characters are positioned, and how many points are available that can be used for special techniques.
Not only that, but you have to constantly shift and change your party layout to react and adapt to your opponent’s party makeup. Similar to Pokémon or Persona, each party member and enemy has specific strengths and weaknesses based on their damage type.
Luffy, for example, is a Power-type that can deal heavy damage to Speed-types but can’t deal with Blade-based Technique-types. Usopp, on the other hand, is a speed-type who can snipe tech-types from a safe distance, but falls quickly when facing off against power-types.
What complicates things even more are various elemental and debuff effects that can be applied to attacks, further enhancing or weakening attacks and possibly applying negative effects to their targets.
This leads to battles where pitting your party members against some enemies can mean instant victory, while throwing them out to fight other enemies can mean decisive defeat. As such, regularly shuffling your party — and figuring out how best to use each Straw Hat — to get to the top is a necessity, and can happen multiple times even during smaller battles.
It can be chaotic, but it also keeps the battles feeling fresh and intense even after dozens of hours in the game. I had a blast flipping the Straw Hats in and out of combat and firing their signature moves at enemies in quick succession to deal sickening amounts of damage. Some battles felt deservedly short, while others were satisfyingly challenging thanks to the constant strategy changes I had to implement.
The aesthetics and visuals of One Piece Odyssey have further enhanced the experience. Carrying the style of the One Piece franchise to modern gen platforms, the world emerges with a 3D version of Eiichiro Oda’s art style. Character models and enemy models alike are as emotional and colorful as anything from the manga or anime and will visually engage players throughout their adventures.
The sound design is also sufficiently usable. The Japanese voice acting is on par with the anime, and the characters show a lot of emotion in every line they deliver as a result. The music also serves as a good accompaniment to the gameplay, although the tracks rarely stand out and fade into the background even at climax moments.
The end result is a game that is far better than it should be. Granted, it’s not perfect, but it’s still a great achievement of a game adaptation and a major outlier in the anime gaming space.
One Piece fans and turn-based RPG lovers alike will be more than satisfied with what One Piece Odyssey has to offer. Its combat offers a great new twist on the genre’s signature combat systems and is far deeper than you’d expect from an anime-inspired title. While it’s not perfect, the game takes the chances in the best possible way and could very well lay the groundwork for much more promising One Piece games in the future.